Please tell us a few words about the new release, about the music on it as a whole or a few words on each track in part. How are you happy with the final release?
“intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest”
‘Esoteric’ is a concept album, and it is linked with our first release. It contains 7 songs and describes the journey by the protagonist, intended to be the listener, experiencing the issues and themes from the first album while at the same time, also telling a new linear story in the first person. The lyrics are not meant to be clear-cut and descriptive about what is happening in this journey, hence the album title, and is meant to be entirely subjective to the listener’s views. The title is pretty descriptive of our music as well. Mostly, Mike & I are very proud to have finished recording these songs and have them available to everyone.
How would you describe/label the music on it? Does it sound like anything we might have heard before?
Defining our sound is a tough one. Between ourselves, listeners and reviewers, there have been varying degrees to what we have been labelled as – and maybe it is better not to be able to define it. The main element is death metal, with a lot of experimentation and progressive transitions/riffs. There is also a little bit of everything that creeps up now and then, like doom, grind and drone. In the early days we also started off with a fair amount of black metal, and I think that is still present in some ways.
Our inspirations could probably tell you much more about what we do – I personally listen to a whole lot of Gorguts, Ephel Duath, Cynic, Deathspell Omega, Illogicist, Gorod, Blotted Science, Opeth, Ulcerate.
I have a wide and varying range in tastes outside of death metal, and that shows in my songwriting as well – Animals as Leaders, Mastodon, Russian Circles, Baroness, Nine Inch Nails, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Rush, Radiohead, Massive Attack.
Where was it recorded and how much time did it take you to record it? Any interesting stories from the recording/producing the material?
We recorded and produced the entire album at my personal studio, Southern Darkness Recordings. The interesting story behind the recording will have to be how long it took us to finish – about two and a half years. We went from a live performing 4-piece to a studio-based 2 person project sometime in 2012 and though there were bits and pieces written by this stage, it was completing the writing process that took a long time, and then when we finally got to recording, we hit a few bumps along the way, both technical and personal reasons.
In addition, I was writing, performing and recording guitars (guitar left and right – the riffs are never the same), bass and vocals, and on top of that the production end of things… There is only so much one person can do before needing to take a break, so there were a few breaks.
What can you tell us about the cover artwork? Is there a link between the artwork and the lyrics? What are the topics of your lyrics?
Our album artwork was created by Biholocaust (http://biholocaust.tumblr.com).
There is no real direct link between the artwork and lyrics, only the intention of the graphics – it is surreal, and it helps makes things subjective for the listener. It is also the reason for going with a non-coloured cover, as the shades and textures created by the music fills in those blanks. Some might say it does not influence anything, but I personally believe that the inclusion of a primarily green, or red, or blue album cover and packaging evokes certain feels and moods.
As mentioned earlier on, the lyrics are to be subjective. It is meant to be esoteric to the listener for them to fill in their own blanks. For me, it is extremely personal. There may/will be hints scattered around and if anyone has read the lyrics in ‘Disymposium’, that helps as well.
There are elements in the storyline that were mainly inspired by 2 writers – Grant Morrison through his comic ‘The Invisibles’, which explores time travel and alternate dimensions/universes; and Mike Mignola’s ‘Hellboy’ and ‘B.P.R.D’ series. There have also been elements taken from Edgar Allan Poe’s writings.
What do you expect to gain through this release? What are the band's aims at the moment?
Out of all the possibilities, my favourite is when a listener becomes a fan, contacts you by however means – email, IM, etc. I have lived and breathed music for so many years, that despite where music and the industry is moving in modern culture, there are always listeners out there that give a shit about the music – so if I have inspired, helped them through tough moments or anger, or simply having it appreciated because of the music.
Currently the band is taking a long deserved break, and will probably not be writing any music for a while – at the same time I will be starting a new musical project on my own, so keep on the lookout for that.
Is there a special format the material is released in? Or is it released in multiple formats? How many copies were pressed?
I will probably receive a 50/50 reaction to what I am about to say – pay what you want, digital only. There have been discussions over the years in regards to what the artist and/or the listener thinks their/the music is worth, downloads on bandcamp starting at $0, fighting piracy, not being able to perform live anymore (our case), amongst many others.
At the end of the day, there will always be pros and cons. Being located in the most isolated city in the world does not help for physical copies, nor does having only 2 members help promoting it live. So, it was a bit of a decision to go for $1 minimum and to just have the music available to everybody. Also, you get to see how honest people are and what they think your music is worth…
Where and how will you promote this new release?
In any way we can - social media, webzines, reviews, word of mouth.
Where can we order it from?
‘Esoteric’ is available at www.khariot.bandcamp.com. Our music can also be found on iTunes, CD Baby and Amazon, amongst others.